Tonight, I’ll write about what’s on my mind for an hour. If it gets published, it gets published. If it doesn’t get published, at least it’s helped me break out of my writer’s block.
For a while now, I’ve been of the mind that innovation at the intersection of news and technology is stuck. Most likely at this. The pipeline is broken as far as I can tell. Even if there were a miracle and every journalism program had a “news-coder” program, it would be two or three years for students to make it through.
This is unfortunate. Media companies are technology companies, and have been as long as they’ve existed. David Cohn tried to write about this too. I remember back in the day when newspaper companies spent millions of dollars to build better printing presses. It was a source of pride to own your own press. Transitioning from black and white to color, don’t you remember that? Color ads scored more money than the black and white ones.
On the web… well, the web isn’t a priority. Print makes the money, therefore print is the priority. For any newspaper, magazine, or print publication, until these priorities switch, you’re dead in the water. You are a ripe target for disruption.
Your new priority: you are an arbiter of information whose mission is to empower people to make better decisions.
But I feel like this is known, and we’re in a waiting period to see all of this play out. From here on, it’s just hard work needing to be done. If you’re at a loss of ideas, I have plenty you can steal.
I need to raise money so I can short the
education schooling system.
It’s interesting that in Mars Edit and WordPress for iOS, the tags field is right under the title, like this:
This puts a greater level of importance on the tags field than the main content area (with the title as the most important for that matter). Yet we don’t do much with tags. Clay Shirky has an awesome piece on this matter called “Ontology is Overrated“.
Aside: Actually, as I spent ten minutes skimming through his piece, I realized it didn’t have much to say about tags not being used. It’s a great piece nevertheless.
I use tags for organizing my relationship to the world. For instance, here are all of my previous engagements with Clay Shirky. It’s pretty sparse, and doesn’t include, for instance, when I went over to his holiday party last December with Cody and talked to his cute niece most of the time. Here’s what I think of Portland, in the form of pictures, embedded tweets, beer, and the outdoors. Here’s all of the times I thought it worth posting that I went running.
There’s something that can be done with this structure around my data but I’m not quite sure what it is yet. One thought is to have a chart appear at the top to show month by month how many times I posted on the topic. If information companies tagged pieces with a particular story term, they could track when they were producing an abundance of coverage vs. no coverage at all. Another thought is that it would be neat make all of the content associated with the topic accessible on one page.
I think the information architecture would depend on the type of topic. For instance, if I linked you to my running tag, it would show a log of every time I ran, my most common routes, average pace, etc. If I linked you to my music tag, it would give you access to my listening history, and let you browse my collection. And so on.
I use tags to structure my content because I want WordPress to be my personal data store (Google search for an exploration of what that means). In short: I’m building a repository of data I’d like to be infinitely reusable.
I get to contribute to WordPress.com under the auspices of Team VIP. On Twitter, I love how I can one-click open a new posting window by hitting “n”. I want that across WordPress.com. I also want WordPress.com to properly respect post formats.
It’s terrible annoying that every app and every website has taken it upon themselves to reinvent which keys should be bound to which actions. Sparrow, I’m looking at you with your “Spacebar opens the email in a new window instead of scrolling it.”
When I accessed my parent’s wifi network this evening, an airline receipt I accidentally command p’ed three weeks ago was finally delivered to the printer, and made physical. Semi-sentience in the real world.
One last thing. I think I’ll do a post about content analytics soon, especially because Edit Flow v0.7 is nearing release.